Rotterdam is heading for a new all-time throughput record of about 468 Mt, 0.2% more than in 2017, according to the preliminary results presented by the port authority’s CEO Allard Castelein
It will be a close finish, with containers abd breakbulk in particular to thank for the satisfying 2018 whole year result. Containers recorded a 5% rise to around 150 Mt - deepsea, shortsea and feedering. Breakbulk grew by 1% to about 30.6 Mt. Dry bulk is heading for a 3% drop to around 77.8Mt with coal (25.7 Mt in 2017) and biomass showing the only increases. Liquid bulk is set to decline by 2% to 210 Mt, with miscellaneous (29 Mt in 2017) and LNG (ca. 2Mt) the only risers. The exact figures will be announced at a press conference on 14th February.
Speaking at the annual Day of the Port - organised traditionally by Havenvereniging Rotterdam (port community) - Castelein also gave new figures about the port’s contribution to the Dutch economy from a report just released by Rotterdam EUR University. Using new methodology, the university puts the port’s annual added value at €45.6B, 6% of national GDP. Employment, direct and indirect is estimated at 384,500 FTE, 4.2% of the Dutch total workforce.
Speaking of which, the port boss addressed the problem of labour shortage: “There’s enough work for everyone," he said, but added that it is proving difficult attracting qualified personnel, which affects both the freight sector and Rotterdam’s huge industrial complex (petrochemicals, etc).
A staggering 35% of Dutch logistics companies, in warehousing, trucking, inland shipping and rail, are affected by the labour shortage, the chief economist of Holland’s national statistics bureau (CBS) said at the recent Rotterdam Port Debate. “Although there are 75 jobs per 100 jobseekers, their average competence is insufficient,” he noted. Various representatives from the freight sector agreed that there is a real personnel issue.